BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor .........home ...... Dec news

"UNTAET’s Peacekeeping Force maintains security in East Timor and renders humanitarian assistance to its people. The current deployment of 8,000 troops from 21 nations will be reduced to 5,000 troops and military observers by independence." UNTAET Press Office
See also: Sep 20 A Popular Challenge to UNTAET’s Achievements

UNTAET: UNTAET Peacekeeping Force  (Fact Sheet 17)

All of the fact sheets can be downloaded in PDF format at


Not an official document. For information purposes only.


December 2001

By UNTAET Press Office


UNTAET’s Peacekeeping Force maintains security in East Timor and renders humanitarian assistance to its people. The current deployment of 8,000 troops from 21 nations will be reduced to 5,000 troops and military observers by independence.


The mission of the Peacekeeping Force and the United Nations Military Observer Group (UNMOG) is to help maintain a secure environment in East Timor in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1272 and 1338; to assist UNTAET in the conduct of safe and democratic elections; and to assist the East Timor Public Administration, within its capabilities, in the development of sustainable East Timorese organizations and infrastructure.

Force Commander
Lieutenant General Winai Phattiyakul (Thailand)

Troop Contributing Nations
Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Fiji, Ireland, Jordan, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia and Thailand.

Force Structure

Major units are based around national elements
• Battalion Level: Republic of Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Portugal,
Australia, New Zealand, Jordan
• Battalion Sub-units: Fiji, Nepal, Ireland, Singapore

Other Support Units
• Force Communications – Pakistan
• Force Engineers – Bangladesh and Pakistan
• Force Logistics – Australia
• Force HQ Support Unit – Philippines
• Movement Control – Australia
• Maritime transport – Australia (2 x Landing Craft Medium LCM-8)
• Air transport – Australia, Chile and Portugal
• Provost (Military Police) – Brazil and Mozambique
• UN Military Hospital – Australia, Egypt and Singapore
• Military Interpreters – Malaysia

Junction Points
Junction Points are manned on both sides of East Timor’s border by the TNI (Indonesian Army) and the Peacekeeping Force. They are the “gate-way” for refugees to return to East Timor. There are seven Junction Points on the Western border and five on the border of the Oecussi enclave.

Peacekeeping Force Disposition
Map not included see

Sector East
Sector East Headquarters is in Baucau. The Philippines Battalion (PHILBATT) is based in Manatuto, the Thai Battalion (THAIBATT) in Baucau and the Korean Battalion (ROKBATT) in Lospalos. In Sector East the Korean, Thai and Philippines troops were first deployed with INTERFET (International Force in East Timor) in October 1999 and transitioned into the UNTAET Peacekeeping Force in February 2000. As a consequence they have learnt how to operate effectively together during the past two years.

Sector Central
Sector Central Headquarters is in Dili. The Portuguese Battalion (PORBATT) and a Brazilian Military Police Unit are the major elements under Sector Central command. The PORBATT Headquarters is in Becora, Dili with companies located in Becora, Ainaro and Manufahi. The troops from Sector Central focus their efforts on retaining the confidence of the population through the provision and maintenance of a secure environment and fostering self-reliance.

Sector West
Sector West Headquarters is in Suai. The Australian Battalion (AUSBATT) and New Zealand Battalion (NZBATT) are the major units serving under Sector West command. Within the New Zealand Battalion are troops from Fiji (Company), Ireland (Platoon) and Nepal (Company) and Singapore (Platoon).  They operate as nationally structured sub-units.

The Jordanian Battalion (JORBATT) is responsible for maintaining security in the Oecussi enclave. The battalion Headquarters is located at Pante Macassar/Oecussi. Twenty Malaysian military interpreters assist JORBATT in the enclave.


The PKF conducts active security operations throughout East Timor.  Operations vary from vehicle patrols and checkpoints through to foot and mounted vehicle patrols throughout the region and along the tactical coordination line between East and West Timor. The PKF has plans in place to deal with any military contingency and will respond quickly and robustly to any threat to security, now and throughout the independence period. The PKF will monitor any major breech of security and provide assistance to other UN agencies when appropriate. Civil disturbance is a law and order issue and is the responsibility of the United Nations Civilian Police (CivPol), but PKF will support CivPol when requested.

Civil Military Affairs

The PKF renders humanitarian assistance to the people of East Timor through a comprehensive Civil Military Affairs (CMA) structure. PKF CMA activities include:
• Distribution of educational materials to schoolchildren.
• Provision of First Aid and Language instruction.
• Instruction on improved agricultural techniques including the construction of a demonstration village by the Thai Battalion in Sector East.
• Provision of medical assistance to East Timorese in regular clinics conducted by PKF units.
• Improvement and maintenance of infrastructure i.e. bridges, roads and river embankments.
• Rebuilding assistance for schools and other public facilities.
• Tae Kwon Do instruction for East Timorese youth and East Timor Defense Force personnel by ROKBATT.

The PKF seeks to interact positively with the East Timorese people at all times. By maintaining this “partnership with the people” the PKF is better positioned to maintain a safe and secure environment.

The United Nations Military Observer Group – UNMOG
UNMOG is a part of the PKF structure. The UNMOG Headquarters is located in Dili.

Chief Military Observer
Major General Sergio Rosario (Brazil)

There are more than 150 UN Military Observers (UNMOs) from 21 countries serving in East Timor. Liaison officers are also located in Jakarta and Denpasar. UNMOG is a neutral, unarmed force which is the liaison interface between East Timor and West Timor for management of the joint border.  UNMOG’s role is to observe, monitor and report activity affecting security operations; liaise with different components of UNTAET, the local population and TNI; monitor border control and repatriations; report on popular sentiment; patrol their Area of Operations; and report information of military significance to the PKF.

Significant Events

23 February 2000 – The PKF element under command of Lieutenant General Jaime Santos (Philippines) assumed control of security from the INTERFET multinational peacekeeping forces who had been in East Timor since September 1999.

March 2000 – The Portuguese battalion based in Sector Central conducted Operation Cobra, a very successful sweep and find operation seeking out militia in Ainaro district. Operation Cobra resulted in numerous surrenders and arrests.

21 July 2000 – Lieutenant General Santos handed over command of PKF to Lieutenant General Boonsrang Niumpradit (Thailand).

24 July 2000 – Private Leonard Manning, from New Zealand, was killed in a clash with an armed militia group at Nanu near the border with West Timor.  He was the first PKF member to be killed in action.

03 August 2000 – Corporal Mohammad Abdul Aziz, from Bangladesh, was killed by a grenade explosion during EOD search and clearing operation at the Dili Beach.

10 August 2000 – Private Devi Ram Jaisi from Nepal was killed in a militia attack at Hobolo, east of Suai. Two other peacekeepers were wounded.

24 October 2000 – PKF soldiers from New Zealand (NZBATT) were involved in a clash with a militia group, killing one militia member, during a patrol near the Mota Raiketan River seven kilometers northeast of Suai.

1 December 2000 – A PKF soldier from Australia was wounded in the leg following a suspected militia shooting incident near Balibo.

23 February 2001 – PKF soldiers from the Australian Battalion were involved in a clash with two militia members six kilometres east of Balibo near the border with West Timor. There were no casualties.

01 April 2001 – Two suspected militiamen were fired upon by a UN peacekeeper as they approached his sentry post at Junction Point, 8 kilometers east of Balibo. There were no casualties.

29 May 2001 – A militia member attacked Timorese civilians with hand grenades while they were at a market 7 kilometres south east of Balibo in the vicinity of the tactical control line between East and West Timor. As the result, 5 local civilians were killed and many injured.

12 June 2001 – A swift and successful security operation conducted by Australian PKF troops resulted in the voluntary surrender of 34 suspected militia members in and around the village of Lontama, seven kilometres south of Maliana.

14 June 2001 – PKF soldiers from the Australian Battalion (AUSBATT) encountered a small armed group of suspected militia well inside East Timor, eleven kilometres south of the village of Batugade. The suspected militia fired upon the PKF patrol with rifles. When the PKF patrol returned fire the suspected militia group withdrew. No one was injured.

28 July 2001 – PKF troops from the New Zealand Battalion on patrol along the border four kilometers southwest of Tilomar in Covalima district took cover after a shot was fired at them by an armed man dressed in civilian clothes. The PKF soldiers returned fire and killed the man, who turned out to be a TNI soldier. The incident is under investigation.

30 August 2001 – PKF conducted a successful operation to provide security for the East Timor Constituent Assembly election. The election was calm and peaceful with no violent incidents of any kind.

31 August 2001 – PKF Force Commander Lieutenant General Boonsrang Niumpradit handed over the PKF command to Lieutenant General Winai Phattiyakul, also from Thailand.

14 September 2001 – A large group of East Timor refugees returned from West Timor as a result of the peaceful security situation and successful election process.

See also:

Sep 20 A Popular Challenge to UNTAET’s Achievements  Statement added Sep 20
"UNTAET has recently published in the September issue of its broadsheet Timor Tais 20 of the UN’s major achievements in East Timor. Many of these achievements are either misleading or things that UNTAET has been forced to do under pressure from Timorese people, civil society and leaders and international critics. It is time for UNTAET to be held accountable, once and for all, for not fully achieving its mandate, and for now preparing to withdraw and redefining its mandate according to the few things it has done rather than what it was supposed to do."

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